Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flavor of the Month! Or maybe the Year!

Remember that chef who made his signature move of sprinkling his final choice of topping to his meal with a "BAM!"  I believe his name was Emeril, and the last time I heard his booming voice yelling "BAM!" was on a toothpaste commercial.  Anyway, that catchphrase accurately describes what truffle oil does to it finishes it.  It may go on with a slow drizzle, but man, there is something that awakens your palate and ...maybe even your nether regions.

I'm not kidding.  You look up truffle oil and the words used to describe it include "sensual", "aphrodisiac", and "seductive".  Heterosexual men and lesbians, take note.  Apparently, women say it takes them to heaven.  Thank me later.  ("Men, take note" has a quick, more punchy sound to it.  But I realized that not all men want to lure women and that some women do.  Man, it's difficult to be socially aware at all times. I guess that's why Cosmo doesn't even try. "Ladies, 100 different ways to make your man climax!")

So let me rewind to my discovery, or rather, my introduction to truffle oil.  

My then-possible candidate for a boyfriend, but now-significant other was making me dinner.  It hadn't been the first time someone made me a meal, but this was the very first time I had trouble identifying ingredients.  I was like a child, pointing to this and asking about that.

Me: *poking at a soft white mound*  "What's that?"

BF: "Goat cheese" (and some French mumbo jumbo name I can't remember)

Me: *picking up orange slabs of what looked like hardened gelatin*  "And this?"

BF: "Membrillo."

Me:  "Right right.  (long pause)  What the hell is membrillo?"

BF:  "Petit quan"...(looking at my still confused face) know, quince paste.

Me:  "What the f*ck is quince?"

BF:  *look of resignation*

Me:  *I shrug and peer into a wooden box of plastic snow*   "Ooo, what's that?"

BF: *looking at me as if I had a baby's arm growing out of my eye socket and says very slowly and clearly so that I understand*  "SEEEAAA....SAAAALT"

Me:  Oh.  OHHHHH.

I'm surprised he didn't decide to poison me at this point.

Later in the meal, he used truffle oil to season one of his appetizers. BAM!  He opened up a Pandora's Box.  And now I understand Tyrone's pain.


  It doesn't help that I have friends who are also addicted to truffle oil. We enable each other.  Here are some of my fave truffle oil-infused goodies.  I listed restaurants that carry the food item in NYC, but you will be sure to find them in other establishments, too....because they'd be fools not to use truffle oil!

Bianca Pizza with Truffle Oil: May be found at Bettola (Photo by Agee)

Garlic Parsley Truffle Fries!  Add some cheese to that, too!  You can get it at Hudson Terrace.

Truffle Egg Toast at Ino or Inoteca.  I liked the toast at Ino much better.  (Photo by Jean Marc D.)

Our biggest obsession right now:  Truffle Mac and Cheese at Cafeteria.  Sure, the two other bowls contain mac and cheese bacon something or other, but really do you care??  Truffle oil all the way! (Photo by some chick named Wendy D on Yelp)

Yes, we love it!  Say, when are we going again?

Notes to this post:

*My friend Agee says that she actually introduced me to truffle oil at her high noon tea party.  I believe her, but I dare say that she snuck something into my tea that made me forget.

*Truffle oil is a finishing oil, not really a cooking oil.  It will supposedly lose its aroma and flavor during the cooking process.  Just use lightly over your food.

*Truffle oil is created from soaking truffles in olive oil.  These days, most truffle oils are chemical concoctions.  Apparently, one NY Times article resulted in many disappointed consumers when the truth came out.

One website said that if a bottle mentions "truffle essence" or "truffle aroma", it is synthetic.  Look for "infused with truffles" on the label for the real deal.

*I've seen about $30 for 8oz bottles of real truffle oil on  I think I'm good with the fake ones.  I'll let you know what good deals on real ones and yummy chemical mixes I find.  So far, heard of Urbani products on Amazon and Whole Foods.

*I wouldn't consider myself a country bumpkin, but since moving to New York, I have been exposed to more foods and gained some new culinary vocabulary words.  I'm still a junk food addict and have an extreme appreciation for McDonald's Happy Meals, Domino's Pizza, and Subway's Italian BMT.  Is that so wrong??  It doesn't mean I'm not open to high-quality, delicious foods.  I just don't like crappy-tasting, overpriced food.  As this Southern girl tries new things, I hope to share them with you.

**I still forget that name "membrillo".  I had to ask my boyfriend again today.  Here's a picture of the quince paste.

From my experience, I have come to the conclusion that fancy pants men like membrillo.  And no, that's not from snooping into refrigerators.  Because that would be weird.

And to save you from any future embarrassment of not knowing what a quince is, here's a helpful illustration.

And you thought you learned nothing from my blog.

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